THE POLITICAL AESTHETICS OF POWER AND PROTEST
Workshop @ the University of Warwick 25th of September 2012
This one-day workshop, funded by the Leverhulme Trust, is structured around the technologies and sites of power and protest. The challenges to dominant models of aesthetics instituted by the state and historically legitimized, come in different forms and expressions. Protest movements and contesting groups are as sensitive to the style in which their demands are asserted as to the substance of their politics. The diffusion of these new forms of aesthetics through mediatization alert us to the importance and pervasiveness of politics today.
Democracy requires a constant renewal of forms – sets of symbols or an aestheticisation of political language, which appeals to people and instils in them a sense of belonging and identification. It does not function through command or coercion. The increasing disenchantment and disillusion with the state, with political institutions and their practices and performance makes it more important to explore the place of aesthetics of power as well as of protest. The widespread movements of resistance and rejection of state power also project ideas through aesthetic modes and make the question of the everyday symbolism of politics more urgent to explore.
Contributions to this workshop deal with the categories of political icons and symbols, art, dress and fashion, theatre and spaces of performance of power and protest from different disciplinary and theoretical standpoints.
The proceedings of the workshop will be published as either as an edited volume or as a special issue of a journal. Confirmed speakers include Louise Amoore, Christine Battersby, Roland Bleiker, Rebecca Brown, Manuela Ciotti, Oliver Davies, Simonetta Falesca- Zamponi , Laragh Larsen, L.H.M. Ling, Alice Mah, Partha Mitter, Les Moran, Hilary Pilkington, Nirmal Puwar, Maria Tamboukou, Rashmi Varma
Organisers: Prof. Shirin M. Rai (University of Warwick) and Prof. Arundhati Virmani (Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Marseille )